It happens to the best of us. One month you will be raking in the cash with a lot of sales, then one day it just suddenly stops! This can be really frustrating to an ebay entrepreneur. This has happened to me many times, and the feeling is almost bad enough to make you want to quit your business. Don’t! This problem is only temporary if you follow the solution below.
First we need to understand what happened. The number one reason why sales slow down is due to the price of your item. It’s not necessarily YOUR price that is an issue, but it’s the price of another seller that has come in and completely undercut you. Since ebay is such a large market place, we should expect this to happen. The amount of sellers on ebay grows each day, and most of the time the buyer is unaware of your stellar ebay rating. There’s another trick that sellers do, and it can really hurt your business. They see that you are selling a similar item, so they start to look at what else you are selling. They then compare what you are selling to your feedback and see what is selling the most, and lastly they copy you. They now have completely copied your business and if they can undercut your price, then you probably won’t be selling much. I compare this to the story of the tortoise and the hare. The copycat is the hare, they are fast to copy our items and undercut our prices, but they quickly get tired of not making much money. It’s up to us to be the tortoise and keep going, no matter how slow we are to recover. So here is the solution to this problem:
- Diversify Your Inventory – Having several different types of items available for sale will greatly decrease your chances of running into this issue. When you sell to more than one niche it’s hard for other sellers to uncover where you are getting your inventory.
- Set All Listings To Private – When you sell an item, and a customer is happy, they leave you a positive feedback. This is good, right? Well most of the time it is, unless you have a copycat that wants to see what people are buying from you. Looking at your feedback is a great snapshot of what you are selling. When you are creating your listing you have an option to make this listing private. This feature will hide the name and listing number when someone leaves you feedback. It is mostly used for items that may be personal, but I set all of my items to private. That way if someone is trying to copy me, they won’t know which of my items are selling the most.
- Wait It Out – This may be hard, but when sellers come in and undercut your price, you know how much they are making in profit. Sometimes they may be losing money, but they want to establish themselves as a the leading seller of that product and get as many positive reviews as they can. This is short term. No one wants to lose money, so they will eventually leave the market if you stand strong.
- Lower or Increase Shipping Charges – This is one trick that works well for me. You want to make sure your listing stands out from the rest, so that means changing your shipping strategy. If the other seller is offering free shipping, then you need to charge for shipping but lower the price of your item. This way you are still making the same amount of money. On the other hand, if the seller has a lower price but is charging for shipping, you can offer free shipping but bump up the price of your item. Again, you still are making the same amount of money, but your listing will be different and will stand out.
I hope these tips and tricks really help you when your sales slow down due to someone else’s pricing. Also its always better when you can be proactive on preventing copycats. The reactive approach takes to much time and money! Has this ever happened to you? If so, leave a comment below and tell us about it!